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BtoB Article: The time is now for sales and marketing to align

How To Reduce Your Lead Leakage

As our sales funnels get wider and longer, it’s even more challenging than before to keep leads within our grasp.  One of the most costly sales and marketing issues is lead leakage.  Lead leakage refers to leads entering the funnel as suspects and potentially moving through to leads and possibly opportunities only to be forgotten, if they are not ready to buy. But what does that mean? Are these leads are not worthy of continued attention?  Could these leads buy at some point in the future? Plugging a hole in your sales funnel is critical to successful lead management.  Below are some steps that can be taken to help reduce lead leakage…

  1. 1. Integrate a lead nurturing strategy into your lead management process.
    -
     Sending out emails over a period of time is not an effective lead nurturing strategy.
    - Put some thought towards targeting, relevant content, and evaluating success (sending the right person, the right message at the right time is effective nurturing).
    - Use automation to track digital behavior and automate nurturing programs for leverage, visibility, and scalability.
  • 2. Define, automate, and measure the marketing to sales process.
    - Sales and marketing must work together to define what is considered a “sales ready” lead.
    - Use
    scoring and triggers to drive “sales ready” leads to sales as soon as possible.
  • 3. Close the loop between the sales and marketing process.
    -
     What happens when marketing sends sales a prospect that is not yet qualified? Do they ever hear from your company again? This is why  nurturing is so important. If your leads are nurtured throughout the process, when the prospect is ready to buy, your company is most likely to be first in mind. Knowing more about what each prospect is interested in is critical to providing value. Leaving lead nurturing up to your sales team is not the most efficient way for them to spend their time and not to mention, a difficult and tedious process to perform manually.
  • 4. Prioritize leads so the hot opportunities bubble to the top.
    -
    One way to minimize lead leakage out of the funnel is to make sure the sales team is focused on the leads that have the highest potential return (most qualified and has shown digital interest as well).  Marketing can help sales focus on the “sales ready” leads passed over by integrating a scoring system based on a lead’s demographics as well as its digital behavior. This way, only the leads that met the predefined criteria of “sales ready” will be sent to sales, helping them focus on the best potential opportunities.
  • 5. Measure results.
    -
    Questions to evaluate: Are you successfully nurturing leads? Are more “qualified” leads being worked by sales? Are you tracking revenue per rep? Are you seeing any reduction in sales cycle? 
  • By reducing leads leaking out of a funnel you should be able to track additional revenue sold or at least more qualified leads sent to sales.

    More more helpful tips and expert advice on lead management visit our blog at
    http://www.leadlife.com/blog.


    About the Author
    Lisa Cramer is president and co-founder of LeadLife Solutions, a provider of an on-demand lead management solution that helps drive revenue by bundling a state of the art marketing automation platform with highly-experienced marketing and sales specialists. In 2009 and 2010, Lisa was recognized as one of the top ten “Most Influential People” in sales lead management. For more information on lead management  or best practices call 1-800-680-6292 or email info@leadlife.com.

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